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Hikaru Nakamura vs Magnus Carlsen
Gashimov Memorial (2014), Shamkir AZE, rd 7, Apr-27
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-14  bobthebob: At the very least let's hope for a closer match than last time with a bit of drama and suspense.

I would like anand to win because i am an older guy

I would like carlsen to win since I think it would give chess a bigger shot in the arm for publicity.

Apr-27-14  Jambow: As a Nakamura fan it is almost impossible to watch him lose against Magnus. As a Magnus fan it takes the edge off sighhhh. Now there were a few people suggesting that Nakamura was about where he should be based upon elo ratings with Magnus lol, do they still think so.

Magnus for now owns Nakamura, Nakamura gathers points from other top players and hands them to Carlsen.

Apr-28-14  patzer2: Maybe 24. Bc2! could've avoided Black's Queenside counterplay and kept an edge for White.

One possibility played out with Fritz 12 is 24. Bc2! Qf6 25. b3! c3 (25...Qd4 26. bxc4 ) 26. Qd1 Nb2 27. Qf3 g5 28. fxg6 fxg6 29. a5 Rb8 30. Ne2 Qe5 31. Nxf4 g5 32. g3 Bd7 33. Qg2 Qd4 34. Nf5 (+2.12 @ 20 depth).

Apr-28-14  ndg2: This game, more than the previous encounters between these players including Zurich, convinces me that Naka will NEVER be able to challenge Carlsen.

And this is a pity! Naka got repeatedly rather good positions against MC.

Apr-28-14  Ulhumbrus: <cro777: Nakamura: "I thought I was winning, but I missed the strong idea of Qh6."> This suggests an interesting question: What would Nakamura have chosen if he had anticipated this resource for Black?
Apr-28-14  SirRuthless: Probably Nxh Nxh Nxd cxd a5 Rb7 line with a clear pawn edge and decent chances.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <cro777: Nakamura: "I thought I was winning, but I missed the strong idea of Qh6.">

Could someone please explain why Qh6 is a strong idea?

Apr-28-14  DcGentle: Well, as mentioned earlier, <16... h5> could help in this position:

click for larger view

Black to move could have started a devastating attack.

I wonder whether Carlsen or his team ever looked at this move, here there is my analysis:


[Event "Gashimov Memorial, lines not played."]
[Site "0:05:33-0:35:33"]
[Date "2014.04.27"]
[Round "7"]
[White "H Nakamura"]
[Black "M Carlsen"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E20"]
[Annotator "DcGentle"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "1r1q1rk1/p2b1ppp/1b1p1n2/1p1Pn3/2p1P3/P3BPN1/1P1QB1PP/R2N1RK1 b - - 0 16"]

16... h5 {<is a suggestion of Houdini, but the engine has no clue how powerful this move really is. Carlsen played 16... Bc8?! here, and this regrouping could have caused a loss even.>} 17. h4 {<is probably White's best try, but it's not sufficient to hold the draw. If White doesn't stop Black's h-pawn here, things won't improve, see the ensuing variation.>}

(17. Nh1 {<The knight evades the kick from White's h-pawn with the hope to help from f2, but in vain.>} h4 18. Nhf2 Re8 {<activating the rook in order to raise the pressure on the center. >} 19. Bxb6 {<is practically forced now.>}

(19. Kh1 {<is worse due to>} Bxe3 {<and if >} 20. Nxe3 {<as intended, then>} Nh5 21. a4 Nf4 {<with strong attack.>})

19... Qxb6 {<The queen will return to the kingside rather soon.>} 20. Rc1 a6 21. Kh1 Ng6 {<threatening 23... Nh5, among other things.>} 22. Ne3 Nh5 {<White cannot really start a kingside attack himself.>} 23. a4 Qd8 24. Rg1 Qg5 {<Now White will need some good advice in order to stop Black's attack.>} 25. Rc3 Qh6 {<and White has to move the g-rook due to the threat 26... Ng3!>} 26. Rb1 Ng3+ {<nevertheless!>} 27. Kg1

(27. hxg3 hxg3+ 28. Kg1 Qh2+ {<with strong attack!>})

27... Nf4 {<Black's pieces cannot be stopped anymore.>} 28. Bf1 f5 {<This is the lever to crack open White's castle.>} 29. Rc2 fxe4 30. Neg4

(30. fxe4 Nxe4 31. Nxe4 Rxe4 {<with the threat 32... Rxe3 is devastating.>})

30... Qg5 31. hxg3 hxg3 32. Nh3 Nxh3+ 33. gxh3 Qxd2 34. Rxd2 exf3 {<and miraculously Black got two connected passed pawns on the 3rd rank, guaranteeing the win.>} 35. axb5 axb5 36. Nf2 {<even the desperate offer to return material doesn't help.>} Bf5 {<attacking rook b1.>} 37. Rc1 Re3 {<threatening 38... Rbe8.>} 38. Nh1 g2 39. Bxg2 fxg2 40. Kxg2 Bxh3+ 41. Kf2 Re5 42. Kg3 Bd7 {<Black has much time.>} 43. Kg2 Rg5+ 44. Ng3 Re8 45. Rf1 Ree5 46. Kf2 Rxd5 47. Rfd1 Rxd2+ 48. Rxd2 d5 {<and Black will win thanks to his 3 surplus pawns.>})

17... Re8 18. Bf2 {<Now knight d1 can retake, if Black wants to trade.>} Bxf2+ 19. Nxf2 Nh7 {<Black's queen will take pawn h4.>} 20. Nxh5 Qxh4 21. Nf4 Ng5 {<There is no defense against the threat 22... f5.>} 22. Qe3 f5 23. N4h3 Nxh3+ 24. Nxh3 fxe4 25. fxe4

(25. Qxe4 Qd8 26. Qd4 Bxh3 27. gxh3 Qg5+ {<with strong attack.>})

25... Bxh3 26. gxh3 b4 27. Qf4 Qxf4 28. Rxf4 bxa3 29. Rxa3 Rxb2 30. Bg4 Kh7 31. Rf2 Rb7 {<Black has time again, he is up a pawn already. Furthermore e4 is weak and c4 is a passed pawn.>} 32. Bd1 Nd3 33. Rf1

(33. Re2 {<is very bad due to>} Rb1)

33... Rxe4 34. Bc2 Kh6 35. Bxd3 Re3 36. Rd1 Rxh3 37. Kg2 Rxd3 38. Rdxd3 cxd3 39. Rxd3 a5 {<and Black's pawns will decide the day.>} 0-1


You can copy & paste the above text into a PGN viewer like


Apr-28-14  DcGentle: <ajk68: <<cro777>: Nakamura: "I thought I was winning, but I missed the strong idea of Qh6."> Could someone please explain why Qh6 is a strong idea?>

Well, in this position:

click for larger view

Black to move had only <one> move to stop White's attack, and this was <28... Qh6>.

If for example <28... Qxb2 29. f6 Qxa1 30. Be2 Qe5 31. fxg7> we see this:

click for larger view

Black to move would have lost, because White threatens a mate in 5 with <32. Qh6>, and Black's rook is attacked as well, so this position is won for White, and this is true for other lines as well, only <28... Qh6> saved Black.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <akj68> <DcGentle>

As for why Nakamura missed it, you generally don't expect a guy who has just lost a pawn to seek the exchange of queens.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: So the score is Carlsen 10, Nakmura 0.

It's all part of plan A to lull Carlsen into a false sense of security.

It's a very deep plan and it is working, Carlsen is falling for it every time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: At every step, the hapless Carlsen is being lured deeper into the miasma--by the time he drops a game to his pursuer, he may be up fifteen games or more.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: But having said that...there has been these 15 draws so maybe young Mr Carlsen is wise to the plan A and refusing to win all the games.

Plan B for Nakamura will work.
Simply decline to play in any tournament that has Carlsen in it. That way he will never lose to him again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don't think this game will persuade people to stop trying 4.f3 against Carlsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Sally Simpson: But having said that...there has been these 15 draws so maybe young Mr Carlsen is wise to the plan A and refusing to win all the games.>

As the late Amarillo Slim used to say: you can shear a sheep many a time, but you can only skin him once.

Apr-29-14  goldenbear: Why is 9.Ng3 better than 9.Nc1? Does White need to fear Black playing Nh5? Nc1 seems more consistent to me (possible attack on a5 (Nb3), possible to threaten the desired exchange (Nd3), and more possibilities of playing b4). I think once White lost the ability to play b4 in this game, he lost the advantage.
Apr-29-14  rowealth: Has Naka ever beaten Carl yet? The former got talent. the laters is a genius. Luck favor d genius.
Apr-29-14  whiteshark: <rowealth: Has Naka ever beaten Carl yet?> For classical time control chess, a clear <No!>!
Apr-29-14  bobthebob: "imply decline to play in any tournament that has Carlsen in it. That way he will never lose to him again."

That is a brilliant analysis.
Did you figure that out all by yourself?!
Quick, write a book before someone takes that brilliant idea from you. It turns out that your brilliancy is extendable to anyone against any opponent or any situation.

Wow. What a great contribution to chess and competition in general.

Apr-29-14  Bartacus: Instead of exchanging queens on move 29, White could have tried 29 Qd4. It keeps an eye on the kingside, and White could also try b3 at some point. Centralization with Qd4 looks more logical than going into an endgame with a weak bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Bartacus: Instead of exchanging queens on move 29, White could have tried 29 Qd4. It keeps an eye on the kingside, and White could also try b3 at some point. Centralization with Qd4 looks more logical than going into an endgame with a weak bishop.>

White's bishop doesn't look any weaker than Black's. Trading queens keeps the initiative and allows White to immediately grab the a-file. And what could be more logical than going into an endgame a pawn ahead?

May-10-14  swarb: I think Nakamura could have played 30. f6. With the pawn in that position, white could have brought 3 pieces to bear on the black king - the knight (later placed in the f4 square), the rook (later placed in h3) and the white bishop(albeit in a limited role, only to cancel black's bishop). This would have provided some counterplay for white on the king side. Instead, Nakamura chose to play a4 x b5. This however, does not make sense to me (as some other Nakamura moves in his games against Carlsen), because through this move, he is neither creating counterplay, nor is he trying to block the main strategem that is Carlsen's favorite (as far as I see) in terms of end game situations - the passed pawn. In this particular game, Carlsen has set up the c file pawn as the passed pawn (which by the way, he could do so only because Nakamura chose to play 10 cd5 instead of 10 ed5), thereby removing the obstacle to Carlsen's c file pawn. I believe that in this game as soon as Carlsen noticed that his c file pawn did not have any opposing pawn, he knew that he needed to just keep pushing it forward. These are two modern greats playing, but I believe that Nakamura's focus should have been to either do anything to stop the c file pawn, and therefore block Carlsen's usual end game strategy, or to attack Carlsen's king to topple it before Carlsen could fully push through the c file pawn. Instead Nakamura, normally such a great attacking player, gave a feeble response and did neither. Carlsen, gritty as ever, took his opponent down using his favorite "passed pawn/extra pawn" technique as usual.
May-31-15  Hand Of King: Hikaru Nakamura-Magnus Carlsen Gashimov Memorial 2014, Round 7
Nov-09-16  bobfenris: consider 25:Nxh5
Nov-09-16  bobfenris: very intriguing move,please look at it
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